By Jack Wilson
An early morning barn fire at David Booth’s Waterville dairy farm left over 100 cattle dead. None of the cows in the barn survived the July 9 fire, Booth said, though about 20 cows were outside the barn at the time and remain.
There was still smoke in the air as remnants of the barn smouldered July 10. Booth said he was “sad for the cows,” that had perished, but that there wasn’t much anybody could have done.
Firefighters couldn’t determine the fire’s cause, Booth said. Insurance appraisers were scheduled to come by soon. Booth said he was confident he’d recoup the financial losses.
Booth’s dog alerted him to the fire the night of the incident. “The dog woke me up about 10:30 at night,” frightened by a lightning storm, Booth said. “At about 3:30 he woke me up again. I looked out the window and saw a big ball of orange.”
Booth called 9-1-1. Someone else had already called and firefighters were on their way, he said, but the firefighters’ efforts came too late. They couldn’t extinguish the blaze. “It’s always too late with barn fires,” Booth said.
Booth’s family farm had never experienced any incident on the scale of the barn fire, he said. “You always think it won’t happen to you.” The farm is over a century old and its future is now uncertain.